Dallas Stars: Joe Pavelski, power play key torrid start

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The truncated NHL season finally got underway on Friday night for the Dallas Stars. And for long stretches of the first period, one could tell that it’d been a while since they had seen any live competition. It wasn’t as if they were getting outworked, though. Everything was just–off. They definitely needed a spark.

So when they managed to get on a 5-on-3 power play in the early stages of the second period, the hope was that they could break the 0-0 tie and put the visiting Nashville Predators on their heels. Well, they didn’t just generate a little momentum. The Stars cashed in on both sides of the two-man advantage. From there, the floodgates opened en route to a 7-0 demolition that featured five power-play goals.

The typically slow-starting Dallas Stars have come roaring out of the gate.

The Stars won again, 3-2, on Sunday night in a much tighter affair, but the power play was at it again. All of the Dallas goals came by way of the man advantage. So if you’re counting at home, yes, that’s eight power play goals total. What makes that particularly noteworthy is that the Stars are now the third team in NHL history to have eight power play goals in their first two games.

The contributors to this historic run are the familiar faces from last summer’s magical playoff run. Forwards Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, Alexander Radulov, and Denis Gurianov have all figured heavily in the scoring, as well as defenseman John Klingberg. Bottom line is it’s a lot of fun to watch already, and that hasn’t always been the case with this franchise so early in a season.

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The ring leader of this barrage is the aforementioned Pavelksi. To say he is red hot is a bit of an understatement. To wit, Pavelski has three goals–all on the power play–and four assists through two games. It’s an unsustainable pace, obviously. He and the rest of the team will experience a regression to their mean at some point. But it’s quite apparent that they’ve put a lot of work into their power play, and it’s paying immediate dividends. A fast start to the year isn’t absolutely necessary, but in a shortened 56-game regular season, it would do wonders for the Stars and their prospects of continuing a streak of playoff berths. It’s a small sample size for sure, but they seem intent on building the foundation right now.

The news isn’t all rosy, however. Last year’s OT hero, Joel Kiviranta, was placed on injured reserve retroactive to January 22nd, so that warrants monitoring. But most importantly, captain Jamie Benn had his knee bent at an awkward angle during Friday night’s win. He did come back to finish the second period, but was visibly laboring. He did not finish the game and was a game-time scratch on Sunday. Fortunately, he’s not on the team’s injury report, and the Stars certainly possess the scoring depth to absorb his absence.

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Attrition aside, the Dallas Stars passed the weekend with flying colors. Things can and most certainly will change as the season progresses. But for a franchise that hasn’t exactly been known to light the fire early, the fact that we’re talking about the Stars and their historic scoring only bodes well for the future.

  • Published on 01/25/2021 at 15:01 PM
  • Last updated at 01/25/2021 at 14:25 PM